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How To Get Smoke Smell Out of Car

  • DetailXPerts How to get smoke smell out of car
    January 31, 2012

    We have a few suggestions if you want to know how to get smoke smell out of car interiors. Cigarette smoke gets deep into the fibers of your car carpet and upholstery. Smoke also clings to the hard surfaces of a car, van, or truck interior. Some household products or store-bought items can provide a quick fix when you want to freshen up your vehicle or fleet.

    How to get smoke smell out of car

    However, it might take a deep clean to eliminate the problem. Discover how we can help. CLICK HERE for our capabilities statement. Our mobile cleaning company offers a range of services, including fleet cleaning and truck detailing. We use green steam cleaning technology to sanitize your vehicles. And steam is brilliant at removing bad odors like smoke.


    How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Car with Household Products

    If you do not do something about the smoke smell inside your car, the stale odor will be with you on every journey, which is not pleasant for you or your passengers. Furthermore, not only is a smoke smell unpleasant and persistent, but it can also limit the resale value of your vehicle.

    Similarly, car rental services cannot afford to have smoke odor inside vehicles because it is bad for business. Customers want to hire a vehicle in pristine condition. Therefore, it is essential to know how to get smoke smell out of car carpets and upholstery. So, the first step is to vacuum your carpets to remove any trace of cigarette ash and dirt. Then try out these tips:



    Using charcoal to remove a smoky smell from your car is simple. Place some activated charcoal across the carpeted area of your car. Leave for at least 24 hours and then vacuum. Charcoal is highly absorbent, and acts like a sponge to soak up odor particles in the air.


    How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Car with Baking Soda

    Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a quick and inexpensive way to get rid of a persistent smoke smell from your car carpets. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over your carpets, mats, and upholstery to neutralize the odor. Leave overnight for maximum effectiveness. Then vacuum the baking soda residue until it is completely gone from your car interior, taking the smoke odor with it.

    Baking soda is also an option if you want to know how to clean salt from car carpet. And you can use this affordable household product on your car exterior. For example, if you notice signs of paint damage from the sun’s UV rays, baking soda is one of popular home remedies for oxidized paint.


    Vinegar and Water

    Mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Lightly spray your car carpet, seats, and surfaces with this mix, taking care not to saturate the carpet with too much liquid. Allow the mixture time to settle into the fibers before blotting any extra moisture with a cloth or paper towel. Finally, vacuum the area for best results.

    You can also try a vinegar and water solution to remove smoke stains from car interior. However, unsightly yellow nicotine stains are not the easiest marks to clean. Therefore, you might need to use a more effective cleaning solution or steam cleaning.


    Absorb Smoke Odors with Newspaper

    How to get smoke smell out of car with newspaper? This method sounds unusual, but it is worth a go! For light smoke smells, take some crumpled old newspapers and place them on your carpets. Leave for at least a couple of hours to let the paper absorb the odors. If this doesn’t do the trick, try a store-bought product.


    Store-Bought Products to Remove Smoke Odor

    If you need something to tackle a heavier smoke smell inside your car, various products work hard at odor removal. For example:

    How to get smoke smell out of car

    Ozium Odor Eliminator

    Ozium offers a range of products to get rid of stubborn smoke odors in cars. For example, Ozium Gel is available in a 4.5oz (127g) tub and releases a fresh scent. The gel usually lasts for a few months. Alternatively, try the Ozium Air Sanitizer spray. It claims to sanitize and deodorize the air by reducing odor-causing bacteria and germs.



    Febreze specializes in different air fresheners, and its range includes Febreze Car. You can choose from fragrances such as Lavender, Linen, and Honeysuckle. Or try to eliminate the smoke odor with Febreze Fabric Antimicrobial spray. Use it on your car carpet and upholstery to kill bacteria and prevent mold growth.


    Car Air Purifier

    If you want to know how to get smoke smell out of car without using sprays or gels, a car air purifier is an option. It can help clear airborne pollutants, smoke smell, and allergens. Air purifiers can vary in size and price. For example, the smaller models plug into the outlet of your air conditioning unit.

    Air purifiers with HEPA filters are more expensive, but they trap 99% of harmful particles. However, air purifiers cannot deep clean parts of the car where smoke odors tend to linger.


    Clean Car Interior to Get Rid of the Smoke Smell

    DIY hacks and store-bought products can work in the short term. However, if you want to know how to get smoke smell out of car for good, there are no shortcuts. You must thoroughly clean your car interior. Pay special attention to the following areas:

    You need to vacuum and wash these different areas in your vehicle to ensure you remove the tar deposits behind the smoke smell. Note, this is a time-consuming job. And it may take several attempts to fix the problem.

    Also, you must know how to clean types of car upholstery without causing damage. For instance, be careful not to saturate the fabric. If it feels like too much work, outsource the job to the professionals. Our mobile car detailing service will come to your rescue! See below.


    How To Get Smoke Smell Out of Car Professionally

    Fabrics and materials quickly absorb cigarette smoke, leaving odor and discoloration on headliners and upholstery. And despite your best efforts, achieving a clean, fresh-smelling car interior can be hard without expert help.

    Professional auto detailers know how to get smoke smell out of car, and they have the tools and techniques to clean and sanitize your vehicle. For example, DetailXPerts’ technicians utilize steam technology and eco-friendly cleaning practices to make your vehicle smell like new.

    Our services include truck detailing, fleet cleaning, and car sanitization. We also specialize in auto detailing for dealerships, so you do not have to worry about selling used cars with a bad smoke odor. We will take care of the problem, securing you a higher resale price.



    Now you know how to get smoke smell out of car, you can experiment with different DIY hacks and air sanitizers. Alternatively, say goodbye to that old smoke smell for good and schedule an appointment to have your vehicle or fleet professionally cleaned.

    CLICK HERE to download DetailXPerts’ capabilities statement. And you will see what is possible with our mobile cleaning company. You can trust our trained technicians to do an excellent job at your preferred location. Odor removal, fleet cleaning, truck detailing, and more, leave your vehicle care to us.

    DetailXPerts is a family-owned mobile vehicle detailing and commercial cleaning business. We specialize in science-backed steam methods and biodegradable products to clean and sanitize on demand. And our mobile vehicle detailing service comes to you! Get in touch if you want to schedule a cleaning or have questions about how we clean. Our team loves to share how we achieve safe sanitization with steam. We write about everything from fleet cleaning to franchising. So be sure to check back for our next article.

    Happy driving!


    This article was updated in February 2023 for comprehensiveness.

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